Clinic News and Blog
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month
Heartworm is a serious, potentially fatal disease in pets. Spread by mosquitos, heartworm is exactly what it sounds like — worms in an animal’s heart and lungs. If you were lucky enough to get into Dr. Orville Krause’s career day presentation at Armada Middle School back in the day, you’ve likely seen a jar containing a heartworm-infected heart. If not, here you go:
Adult heartworms (which can be a foot in length) give birth to baby heartworms, called microfilaria. Microfilariae circulate through the bloodstream and are picked up and transmitted when mosquitos bite an infected animal.
Though heartworm can affect both dogs and cats, worms rarely live to be adults in cats. Dogs are much more susceptible to the disease, which is why it is so important for them to be tested on a regular basis in addition to using monthly prevention methods.
- Puppies: A puppy under seven (7) months of age can begin taking heartworm prevention without a heartworm test. This is because it takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after it has been infected. However, the pup should be tested at around 6 months of age to ensure they are heartworm-free.
Adult dogs: A dog over seven (7) months of age and previously not on a preventive should be tested prior to beginning heartworm prevention. Adults should also be tested six and 12 months later and then annually after that.
There are several methods of heartworm prevention/protection. The most well-known type is taken as a monthly oral “treat.” There is also an injection, which protects a dog for six months. We offer the following preventions:
Interceptor™ PLUS -This is a monthly, chicken-flavored chewable for dogs that treats and controls intestinal parasites including: roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms in addition to preventing heartworm disease.
Heartgard® - This is also administered once a month for the prevention of heartworm disease. It is given orally and treats/controls roundworm and hookworm infections in dogs.
- ProHeart®6 - This is an injection that protects dogs against heartworm for six months. This must be administered by a veterinarian.
Prevention only works if it is consistent. Just one month without protection leaves a dog vulnerable to an infection. This is why we recommend dogs be protected all year long — not just in the spring and summer months. We feel the same way about flea and tick protection, but we’ll talk about that next month!
Consider this: you could buy seven years’ worth of heartworm protection/prevention for less than what it costs to treat one dog for heartworm disease.
Treatment for Heartworm Disease
A heartworm infection is not a death sentence, but the treatment is costly and can be hard on a dog. Consisting of numerous blood tests, injections and medication, treating heartworm is a lengthy process; and can still be fatal.
If your dog is overdue for a heartworm test, please give us a call and schedule an appointment!
Did you know we treat bunnies at Krause Veterinary Clinic? We do! We spay/neuter pet rabbits, as well as trim teeth and nails. If your bunny is feeling under the weather, we can treat that, too!
Pet bunnies only, please. If you find a wild rabbit in need of care, please contact a local wildlife rehabber. We recommend Back 2 the Wild Wildlife Rescue in Fort Gratiot.
Patient Spotlight: Willow
3-year-old, female spayed, Dachshund
Willow presented last year for weight loss and chronic diarrhea. She was recently adopted, and her new owner was very concerned about her condition. She had a great appetite but could not seem to gain any weight. On her initial visit, she was extremely underweight, and her coat was dull and thin.
With the history that her owner provided and her physical exam findings, we decided to perform a blood test to evaluate her gastro intestinal tract, specifically her pancreas. The test revealed that Willow had a disease known as Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI).
The pancreas is an organ that is responsible for producing enzymes that are critical for the break down and digestion of fats and other nutrients.
Because Willow’s pancreas was no longer producing these enzymes, she was unable to utilize the energy from her diet.
Willow was started on an enzyme supplement and almost immediately began gaining weight.
Once diagnosed, EPI is manageable and carries a good prognosis.
Join KVC for our 2nd annual Ruff Run 5k Fun Run/Walk with your Dog Day!
When: Saturday, September 22. Sign-in begins at 8am; race starts at 10am.
Where: Armada Fair Grounds — sign in and pick up packets in the Grange Hall.
Cost: $25 to benefit our Angel Fund, which provides financial assistance to people with pets in need of medical care. Registration fee includes T-shirt, snacks, leash and water bowl.
If you are bringing your dog, please make sure he/she is up to date on vaccines and is good with other dogs! Registration must be completed by August 15 and can be done in person at the clinic, by phone at 586-784-9111 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (586) 784-9111
Fax: (586) 522-4232